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This letter was written in response to Roy Hennigh's earlier letter (dated November 21) to Gov. Arthur Capper, which had been referred to P. J. McBride, the Commissioner of Labor and Industry. In it, McBride responds to Hennigh's complaint that a welfare inspector prevented Hennigh from employing his two daughters in his grocery store. McBride referred him to the child labor law that "prohibited the employment of any child under 14 years of age in mercantile establishments." No one could make any exception to this law because, according to McBride, some of the worst cases of abuse had occurred at the hands of parents. This law did not affect children's work within the home, but it did mandate that children under 14 could not be assigned regular duties for a specific period of time in a place of business. McBride emphasized that "it is not the purpose of this department to split hairs," but that his inspectors were bound to ensure that the law was applied fairly and equally to all.
Creator: McBride, P. J.
Date: December 12, 1917
This letter provides information about why children's labor for their parents was included in the child labor law, which had not always been the case. It could be paired with Roy Hennigh's initial letter (dated November 21), which has also been selected for this standard. When combined with the other letters from Sabetha citizens, such as Ralph Tennal and Emma Grimm, this could form a case study of how this law was applied in small-town Kansas.
KS:11th:1.4:Child labor laws (2005)
Item Number: 211803
Call Number: Governor's Correspondence, Capper, Box 10, Folder 3, No. 9
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 211803
Business and Industry - Labor - Child labor
Business and Industry - Occupations/Professions - Grocers
Collections - State Archives - Governor's Records - Capper, Arthur
Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1877-1930 (Kansas_Benchmark 1) - Child labor laws (Indicator 4) - Arguments for enforcement of existing child labor laws
Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1877-1930 (Kansas_Benchmark 1) - Child labor laws (Indicator 4) - Examples of child labor
Date - 1910s - 1917
Government and Politics - State Government - State agencies and programs - Agencies - Labor, Department of
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - Children
Places - Cities and towns - Sabetha
Places - Counties - Nemaha
Thematic Time Period - Age of Reform, 1880 - 1917
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters